Burned Out Doctors Crave Creativity

Creativity in medicine, as in life, expands us. It makes our world better.

In my book Remedy for Burnout: 7 Prescriptions Doctors Use to Find Meaning in Medicine, creativity is one of the prescriptions I describe.

What is creativity in medicine? It’s that spark of insight that a doctor uses to find a new approach to an old procedure; it’s the combination of blood pressure medications that finally has a patient in the perfect zone; it’s the mixture of tough love and smart medicine that brings a patient around.

Creativity gives us fresh answers to hard questions.

Doctors are living in tough times. If you don’t know a doctor who is burned out or close to it, then you are a rare breed. If it’s not a colleague in your practice, it might be your child’s pediatrician. Or your dentist. Or you.

Finding creative outlets inside and outside of your medical practice can release some steam in what might otherwise quickly turn into an exploding pot of frustration.

Here are a few ideas to turn on your creativity:

  1. Find a hobby. Hobbies are not a waste of time. They are ways to recharge. But don’t just find a hobby as another item to check off your list. Find one you enjoy and look forward to. Seek it out. Lose yourself in it.
  2. Share your “aha” moments inside and outside of medicine. You will spread the joy and may learn something important.
  3. Teach something creative to others. Whether it’s cooking or laser therapy, teaching someone else how to activate their own creative juices has a ripple effect that reaches well beyond you.

For me, it’s no secret that writing and music are two of my big creative loves.

What are your creative outlets and hobbies?

Please share your suggestions in the comments below. You may just extend a helping hand to a doctor out there who needs one today.

CATEGORIES: Blog on August 11, 2014 by Starla Fitch, M.D.

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